Morning Glory

(Also known as Convolvulus)

Ipomoea indica

Family: Convolvulaceae

Type of weed:

Flowering Months: , , , , , , , ,

Description

Morning Glory is a vigorous, twining perennial climber.

Leaves are large, light green and heart shaped, usually three lobed. Both leaves and stems are hairy.

Flowers are trumpet shaped with blue to purplish petals and softly hairy to almost hairless green segments (sepals) outside the petals. It flowers mostly spring to autumn.

The plant rarely sets seed.

Don’t confuse with…

Morning Glory could be confused with native climbers such as Snake Vine (Stephania japonica), which also has heart-shaped leaves but tiny greenish flowers. The Native Passionfruits (Passiflora cinnnabarina and P. herbertiana) also have similar leaves.

Dispersal

It is spread in dumped garden waste. New plants grow from stem fragments, rooting at nodes.

Impact on bushland

Morning Glory grows incredibly fast in moist areas, reaching the top of the tree canopy, forming dense shade and smothering vegetation. It is considered to be an ecosystem destroyer.

Distribution

. Also in the Cumberland Plain and Nepean River.

Alternative planting

Native plants

  • Milk Vine (Marsdenia spp.)
  • Wonga Wonga Vine (Pandorea pandorana)
  • Water Vine (Cissus antarctica)
  • Dusky Coral Pea (Kennedia rubicunda)
  • Wombat Berry (Eustrephus latifolius)
  • Old Man’s Beard (Clematis aristata)
  • not Clematis cultivars — these can also be environmental weeds

Council provides a tool, on its Mountain Landscapes website, to help you choose native alternative plantings. Choose your village, soil, vegetation community and the purpose of your planting, and the tool will give you suggestions.

There are native nurseries in several Blue Mountains villages, including Glenbrook, Lawson and Katoomba. Please also ask at your favourite local nursery.

Control

Follow up treatment is needed, whichever technique is used.

  • Hand remove small areas of seedlings.
  • Gently pull up runners and treat nodes with herbicide; scrape and paint remaining roots and stems.
  • Scrape each stem as far as possible and paint with herbicide.
  • Treat dense thickets with herbicide if there are no native plants nearby.
  • If the plant has grown up into the canopy of a tree or shrub, cut each suspended vine stem to allow the parts in the tree canopy to die.

Do not damage native vegetation by pulling vines from trees;  the dead vine can also be habitat for microbats and other small animals.

Suspend cut material off the ground. Once dead it will decompose in place.

Refer to the NSW Department of Primary Industry’s Noxious and Environmental Weed Control Handbook.

For more info

For key points on these techniques: